The Blevins Franks 7 aside tournament at Entrecasteaux Saturday 23rd September 2017

On a sultry September morning, under the threatening gloom of dark and thunderous clouds and the resplendent chateau which dates back to the XI century Entrecasteaux welcomed the seven other teams to play for the championship of France in this 7 aside version of the game of cricket.

So the eight teams, 5 from France and 3 from England were divided into two leagues before the action could begin. The rules are broadly similar save that each innings is limited to six overs and every member of the fielding side must bowl one over; effectively meaning that a bowler can only bowl one over and consequently, it is very much the batsmen on whom glory may shine.

The draw for league 1 put Marseille, Cote d’Azur Cricket Kings, Stage and the hosts together, whilst league 2 was made up by Cadogan Tate, Baginnings, Monte Carlo and Beausoleil. At that stage in the proceedings it seemed that league 2 was the tougher of the 2 leagues and that there would be a repeat of 2016′s epic final when a combined total of 228 runs had been scored.

League 2 did produce the forecast finalists when Cadogan Tate defeated Monte Carlo, the contenders, in the 15.00 hrs game on the football pitch by 62 runs, thereby underlining their superiority. Cadogan Tate’s force lies in the power of their opening batsmen Wilson and Bywater, who between them amassed 193 runs in the 3 innings. Baginnings took the wooden spoon with zero points but definitely took first prize for their wit on the pitch, more usually know as sledging. Beausoleil are always a force to reckon with and their margin of defeat to both Monte Carlo and Cadogan Tate was no more than 10 runs in each gameLeague 1 was supposed to go to Entrecasteaux but with their 16.00 hr game against the Cote d’Azur Cricket Kings on the flix mat surface on the football pitch it was known that which ever team won would proceed to the final. This was after Entrecasteaux had inflicted defeats on Stage by 63 runs and 6 wickets when playing Marseille. Cote d’Azur Cricket Kings had won their games but less impressively, beating Marseille by 5 runs and Stage by 17 runs.

Cote d’Azur batted first and with a total of 54 runs scored in their innings the punters on an Entrecasteaux victory were already queuing at the bookies pay out desk. Surely Edwards, who had scored a combined 97 runs not out in his previous two innings would need no help. But then, in the first over of Entrecasteaux’s response, Edwards received a ball, which is reliably reported as having risen no more than the height of a frogs pubic hair split down the middle and sanded on both sides – now that is no great height and so his middle stump crashed to the ground. There then followed the kind of collapse which suggests they were lemming like, with only  Harland (14) reaching double figures and so Entrecasteaux were bowled out with their total on 44. Such is the treachery of the flix mat, Cote d’Azur had won by 10 runs.

To get to the final in the first year of incorporation was an impressive performance but Cote d’Azur’s naivety was reflected in their batting when they amassed an unchallenging 51 runs. Wilson and Bywater, who in 2016 don’t forget had made a partnership of 112 in the final, breezed to their target in the fifth over when Bywater, requiring only one run for victory, smashed the ball over the mid on boundary. Cadogan Tate had won by 6 wickets and so retained the Blevins Franks trophy for the third successive year.

It was a great day, with much fun being had by many people, perhaps some changes to the matches/rules need to be made, such as the boundary on the football pitch and indeed the flix mat itself, but that is for the powers that be to discuss and deliberate, all suggestions welcome. One thing that does not need to be changed is the fab dinner that Suzy Perera cooks for us after the exertions. It was better than ever, so thank you, and a massive shout of thanks to Yvonne Slack and Ann Mitchem, who to my mind organise just about everything else. There are of course many more to thank, Maggie Lomax and Pauline for running the liquid refreshments tent (a life saving component), to Hanah, to Mike, Maurice, Simon Eveleigh, David Coates, Trevor Yeoman and Rod Joyce for umpiring and to all of you for turning up and playing the game and making the day what it is. Finally we thank our sponsors Blevins Franks, in the persona of Simon Eveleigh, you make it all possible and worthwhile, as we hope it is for you.





2 octobre 2017Permalink